Tagged: lost female
July 1, 2020 at 10:26 am #8495
Something got 2 eggs of four out of the Box and the female is missing. The male has been calling and going to the Box for 3 days now. I am certain she is gone. Should I remove the nest and the eggs, will that help the poor thing get over it? It’s so sad.
I’m heartbroken 💔
I’ve been monitoring this box fir 16 years. First time to lose eggs & female both.
Thanks for any advice.July 1, 2020 at 8:59 pm #8496
So sorry to hear of this loss. It is rare that a male would sit on the remaining egg until they hatch. I would remove the nest and eggs, clean the box and hope that the male will be able to attract a new mate for another attempt. Does your nestbox have a predator guard on it and a baffle to keep out climbing predators such as snakes, raccoons, squirrels, etc.?
Good luck on your next nesting.
Stafford, VAJuly 1, 2020 at 10:03 pm #8498
Agree with David’s thoughts, Gardensongs. The male will not incubate eggs (would be very unusual anyway). If you are very sure the female is gone this would be the thing to do. You should have predator guards in place once an egg or two is laid, for protection. Sounds like something climbed the pole and got the eggs. Slick poles (no wood) are the best and the wobbling stovepipe baffle works great as well. Good luck. Yes, papa will find a new mate and go on – sometimes it doesn’t take them any time either.July 2, 2020 at 7:29 am #8499
Ahhhh that’s rough, sorry you lost them.July 2, 2020 at 7:59 am #8500JulieParticipant
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Ooh, so sorry to hear that, Gardensongs. What a terrible feeling that must have be! Please keep us posted how things turn out.July 2, 2020 at 7:25 pm #8508
Thanks! Yea, I know he wont sit on the eggs. It was just heart breaking to watch him.
Today is the first day he hasn’t called & gone back & forth to the nest frantically. Guess he finally gave up.
I will take the nest out tomorrow as there is no sign of mama. I’m just gutted 😭
We raised the pole to 8 or 9 feet a few years ago and kept it greased. I was gone this spring and failed to grease it. I will look into a baffle. We’ve been lucky to have had 2 boxes with 2 to 3 nestings a year for 16 years.
Also, how do you edit a post? I could never figure it out.July 2, 2020 at 10:22 pm #8511
Gardensong, the baffle should be a great protector. Nature has a way of letting us know that we have to be observant and aware all of the time. Just because it has not happened in the past does not mean that it will not happen today or tomorrow. I am sure that you will find a way to keep your nest safe.
Editing. When you submit a post, you will notice in the upper right corner of the message, a message number and the words “EDIT, REPLY and QUOTE. You can click on EDIT to make changes to your post – but EDIT is not on the post forever. It disappears after a time and your message stays as typed. Maybe Gin or Tammy can answer the time for editing.
Used it myself. I found this in the “Tips for Posting” sticky:
“If you make your post, and realize you’ve made a mistake, you have 10 minutes to edit your own post. Edit by using the “Edit” button above the post.”
- This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by David in Stafford,VA.
Stafford, VAJuly 3, 2020 at 8:56 am #8513
Ah…the ol 10 minute rule…lol.
Nest is out, box is clean and Mr. Blue seems calmer today.
Looking into baffles.
Thanks everyone!July 3, 2020 at 10:28 am #8514
The stovepipe baffle is the way to go! We have oodles of coons here (not unusual to look out at night and see a dozen of them after the females have their babies), I would not have any successful nestings if I did not have pole mounted boxes with stovepipe baffles.
When I began hosting bluebirds, I made every flipping mistake I could have made. Now this is back before the internet, so I get a pass on some of it lol. I had the boxes mounted on trees, I had no clue HOSP were despicable murderous (insert cuss word here), and no idea that coons raided boxes. When I finally got internet, remember dial up? lol I started reading and learning, I believe it was mostly on the old forums here. Unfortunately, I did not follow the advice right away and started on my path of learning the hard way. I only had 2 boxes at the time, but I had bluebirds in them. Right up until coons raided both boxes one night. So, off the trees and onto the poles. Added grease to them just like you tried. Messy stuff, and in the end not very effective, coons struck again. So, I learned to make the baffles. Then all the lessons about HOSP. Bought a repeater trap and a van ert. Got them under control. Took years to get a handle on them. Then got to learn about all the little buggies boxes can get, like blowfly and mites, and feather lice. Oh, and wrens, those are always “fun”. THIS year, 25+ years in, I got to learn about blue jays raiding the boxes and making off with the babies. I never had a problem with that in all my years. So, I’ve been putting kettle moiraine guards (wood blocks to extend the hole out and inch) on all my boxes. I have 4 of the 14 that can’t be fitted with them that I will have to replace before next season.
So, just remember you aren’t alone. Most of us have at some time lost eggs,babies,and adults and have felt all the heartache you are feeling now. Just learn from it, and if there is something you can adjust to help prevent it from happening in the future get to it. In the end we can only do so much, and it is ultimately in God’s hands.July 3, 2020 at 10:44 am #8516
Yes, I had house wren issue last year grrrrr. Black snake wintered in box one year. Racoons another year. I guess not too bad for a 16 year run.
First time to lose my mama bird though.
I always have to remind myself. It’s nature & everyone has to to eat.July 3, 2020 at 10:46 am #8517
Jamie, just love your story about your years with the birds. Yes, as mentioned several times here, we all learn new things almost every day, and also learn from our mistakes. This is life in general I believe. I have been birding only 13 seasons, so you have several years ahead of me – before the internet??? Wow. I have no trails, however, and just am happy to have my blues in my yard to take care of, in between several volunteer jobs. I don’t understand about the Bluejays – how were they able to get in the box with a 1 1/2″ hole?July 3, 2020 at 11:22 am #8520
Before I had the internet, we were a little late in getting that out here. My son at the time was kindergarten aged lol. He is 24 now!
I actually saw the bluejay on one of the nestboxes so I got to see how they did it. It perched on the roof, being divebombed by TRES didn’t phase it. It hopped down to the hole, gripping onto the bottom of the hole itself. Then it was able to reach in there to it’s shoulders. I did scare that one off before it made off with more TRES babies. It had already robbed 2 out of the nest previously. So, I’m hoping that adding the wood hole extender to the outside will work. I think with that extra inch they will not be able to reach in far enough into the box to grab the babies. I pray that it works. The jay (s?) took a heavy toll on the the trail this year, probably my worst year ever so far. Most boxes they hit they left 1 or 2 babies, but one TRES box had all six babies missing, and another TRES box all 4.
So, I’m really hoping for 2nd broods (3rd brood for one pair) from my blues. Only 9 babies have fledged so far between all 4 nesting pairs. I want to see them nest in the boxes with the guard added, so that I know they will accept those boxes. It will probably be a week before I will see any new nesting activity, so fingers crossed.July 3, 2020 at 3:54 pm #8521
Good luck to both of you, Jamie and Gardensong, on your new nestings. The baffles will definitely help with climbing critters. There are some plans on sailis.com for hardware cloth wire guards that may deter the larger birds from the entry holds also. Just do what you can. The birds will love you. what ever you do.
Stafford, VAJuly 8, 2020 at 6:48 pm #8573dogsandbirdsModerator
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I don’t know ANYBODY who hasn’t lost eggs, chicks, or adults. Things do happen, sad to say. Even after you take all of the precautions, things seem to sometimes go wrong anyway. If you do this long enough and right now have a perfect record, one day things might change. Hope not but you just never know.
One year grackles pecked to death an incubating female in my backyard. No HOSP here but wren troubles happen here most seasons and I really don’t like those birds! I’ve had ants in the box when I didn’t grease the pole enough. One year an EABL killed CACH eggs so he could take their box. If I had just put the hole reducer on earlier. Dud eggs, sickly chicks, micro eggs, cow bird eggs in the box–I’ve seen all kinds of things in these 35 years or so. The good thing is most of the time things do work out for the birds.
I made mistakes, too, Jamie. We just do the best we can.
Atlanta, GAJuly 8, 2020 at 8:34 pm #8577
AMEN, AMEN . . . . P.S. Gin, we all need to vent sometimes, and this wonderful forum is it for us.
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